I’ve always been a minority
To belong is absolutely foreign to me
Even at home I’m an outsider
Even if I belong I differ
Everyone struggles to say my name
One wrong syllable is often an error so tame
My name screams outsider
My skin highlights how I differ
I fear both acceptance and prejudice
Neither do I trust the law nor the justice
Because no one cares about the outsider
I’ll always seem like an intruder
Studying abroad has been the biggest adventure of my life. It has been a very fun journey for the past two years although like every journey it was not all smooth sailing. There were some bits of this adventure that was not particularly favorable and it normally related to how I stood out as an outsider.
It is really strange to be treated like a novelty item on the menu. People are curious about me and it is not even because of the person that I am, it is because I am from somewhere else and I look different. I should not complain though as all of my interactions have been respectful and rather pleasant but it does bother me that people make assumptions about others. Snap decisions are constantly made about people and I want to see that change and live in a world where people are not in a rush about everything from getting to know people and and basically living life.
The best trip of life has to be the time I flew from Malaysia to the US for my freshman year in college. Yes, I am aware that it is not a trip per se but it was an interesting wild ride and let me tell you why.
This was the first I boarded alone, it was exciting, I could feel the thrill coursing through my veins. My blood rushing until I got to waiting area and received one of my final farewell text messages from (one of) my best friend(s). It was a beautiful poem and everything in me came crashing down the as reality hit that I was leaving my home nation, I was leaving everything I knew in my world for an adventure. I sat in the waiting room unable to control my tears, I quietly sobbed clinging on to my stuffed rabbit. For once, it didn’t matter how ridiculous I looked or what people were thinking of me. I just cried.
Then I got on flights after flights (okay it was flight after flight). My second flight was supposed to be a 13-hour flight across the Pacific ocean. Due to a storm and some employee clause, this flight became one that lasted for about 20 hours. Which meant I missed my connecting flight and trapped in a new unfamiliar city overnight. The airline was kind enough to put me in a gorgeous hotel. By the time I got to the hotel the restaurant was not open. I was exhausted, I had just spent over a day flying across the planet and the concierge of the hotel was the sweetest person I had come across because he opened the convenience store that was also closed so that I could grab some snacks. And then because I was terrified I would miss my 6 am flight, I decided not to sleep and take a walk around the hotel.
The next I boarded my third and final flight of the trip from a crazy busy airport. With my lack of sleep and the consequent lack of concentration I thought I could run from one end of the airport to the other with a latte that was hot, obviously. That obviously didn’t work out well for me but when I finally got to my destination despite the huge coffee stain on my shirt and the three luggage bags, a guitar and a stuffed bunny, I was finally ready, for the adventure.